Huthmaker Violins

3949 Russell St., Suwanee (Atlanta), GA 30024 • 770.945.1188

Care of Your Bow

  1. When you are not playing, keep your bow securely clipped in the bow holder of your case.

  2. One of the most important habits a string player needs to develop is to loosen the bow after playing. Even if you have a fiberglass bow or a carbon fiber bow, practice loosening it every time you put the bow in the case. Wooden bows left tightened will warp and/or lose their camber.

  3. Avoid tapping the music stand or anything with the tip of your bow. This part of the bow is very delicate. If you should accidentally drop your bow, check the tip for any damage and/or cracks in the faceplate. If you find a crack, have your luthier replace the tip as soon as possible. This is an expensive repair but very necessary. It is the ivory or bone faceplate on the tip of your bow that gives strength to the tip.

  4. You should always choose a good quality horsehair for re-hairing your bow. After the horsehair has been rosined, avoid touching the hair. Use rosin sparingly. If you are preparing for a concert and need to get your bow rehaired, take it to the shop four weeks before the event. You will need time to adjust to the new hair and get rosin distributed through the hair.

  5. If you are having problems with your eyelet, please have your luthier replace the eyelet for you. Do not use the bow screw to tighten the eyelet--this can damage and/or ruin your frog.

  6. Never leave your bow on a music stand, chair or anyplace where it might be knocked off. Bows are very fragile.

  7. Never, never let anyone but a qualified luthier work on your bow.

  8. Insure your bow. This can be with a rider on your homeowner's insurance policy or a policy with an instrument insurer such as Heritage or Clarion. You will need an updated appraisal for your insurance agent.

Bow bugs (anthrenus museorum) are first cousins to the moth and magically appear in unopened cases. Their favorite food is rosin and bow hair (and sometimes gut strings). How can you tell if you have bow bugs? If you open your case and the hair of your bow looks like someone cut it with a pair of scissors, you've probably got bow bugs.

For infested cases, vacuum the case well, spray with a bug repellent and place the case in sunlight (bow bugs hate light) for a couple of days. We also suggest placing a cedar block inside the case (or mothballs if you don't mind the smell) to kill any remaining bugs.

If you have to store your bow for an extended period of time, hang it on a wall, away from direct sunlight.

For any questions or problems with your bow, take it to a qualified luthier for advice and/or repairs.

3949 Russell St., Suwanee (Atlanta), GA 30024 • 770.945.1188
Hours: Tuesday through Friday 12:00-6:00
Saturday 10:00-3:00 or by Appointment